I got an email this morning from a good friend who mentioned a sign he saw hanging in the hallway of a Christian school in a neighboring town where his daughter had a volleyball tournament. It said:
God is good.
Life is hard.
Don’t get the two mixed up.
I’ve been thinking about that all day, and we talked about it today in my Family History class. Last week we had a lesson on journal writing. People always ask what to do about the sensitive issues in their families. Do you write about them, or not?
My advice is always to follow the examples of those in the scriptures. If our scriptures were filled with only the good guys and the happily-ever-afters, we probably wouldn’t come close to learning the lessons we need to learn from them. Life lessons are learned when we are faced with a trial or a challenge and we figure out how to get through it gracefully. If we fail to record our struggles and challenges, our ornery kids, our false starts and failed attempts, and only report on the endings if they are good, our true story is incomplete. The real story is in the HOW we did what we did, knowing what we know.
If we just record the happy outcomes and leave out the rest, (to save face?) we lose the stories that tell how we are who we are. I think the sign in the school hallway is perfect advice for what and how to write. God is good. Life is hard. Don’t get the two mixed up. In all our life experiences, if we record God’s goodness through our struggles, we will have succeeded in leaving a good record.
The prophet, Nephi, in the Book of Mormon described why he kept records: And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins (2 Nephi 25:6). http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/2-ne/25.26?lang=eng#25
We know Nephi wrote the hard stuff too, and he did that so his children might know that in spite of every difficult situation he describes, God is good. Jesus is good. Always. No matter what. That’s the story I’m also here to tell, as I am writing my fingers to the bone.